Female Muscovy Not Eating


Oct 30, 2017
I have a female Muscovy who has gone off her food for the last 4 days at least. I did see her catch a fly yesterday and she is still drinking her water but she has lost weight. This is coinciding with her abandoning her nest with 3 eggs. We had been away this weekend so I don't know the specifics of her behavior for the 2 and a half days before that but she had started wanting to leave the nest for a good half of the day a few days before we left. At the time we put it down to the heat and her instinct letting her know they were warm enough. There was also a pale yellowing in a small area of the red growth under one eye. That has now disappeared and returned to a healthy red. I'm wondering weather she has been a little sick and I've not realized and is now in the final stage of a bug much like happens to you or I, weather she lost her eggs due to heat and is "mourning" them or weather she actually is sick. I am so worried and as much as it breaks my heart the vet is just not an option at the moment financially. If anyone can offer any advice i would be most grateful. I love my little girl. Thank you

It is my understanding, they don't fully nest until they have a huge collection of eggs. The not eating might be because she is broody? I tagged Nyla she knows Muscovies.

I didn't get this tag just stumbled on to it sorry.

Hard to know what might be going on Usually my Muscovy's want more than 3 eggs before they start brooding but nothing is set in stone that's for sure when it comes to our own birds and others.

They can be sick for quite a while before we even noticed they are so good at hiding it being prey.
How is she interacting with the rest of the flock? When mine are broody the red flesh on their faces gets pale not bright read that comes back when they begin to lay again.

Have you tried offering her treats? how is she with that? Maybe getting some poultry vitamins and adding to her drinking water, Poultry Nutri Drench is a good one.
Hi all and thank you for your replies. She is still not good. She had started laying and as we are new to ducks but have chickens we collected the first 3 eggs. We were surprised to find her laying a new egg each day and only then did it occur to us that she was trying to nest. So in total there were 6 or 7 eggs with 2 soft shelled in addition. Her nose is paler and she seams 'down' so we had been thinking she was brooding. My concern is that she's loosing too much weight while she gets over this. The vitamin addition to the water sounds great as she hasn't stopped drinking.
Oh also we have actually separated her from the flock which consists of a male muscovy and 2 isa browns because we didn't think she was well enough to cope with the chickens who do sometimes pick on her and she didn't seem to want our males company. We became custodians of Leslie our female Muscovy after my niece bought her at 5 days old wanting to raise her inside like a dog. That didn't work out with the flatmates and we took her on and got Patrick the Drake as a companion for her. We have always known we need at least one more female and never intended to let Leslie mate so young. I think she may not even have been 6months old but she seemed very keen and to be presenting herself to Patrick so we thought nature was dictating. We are now worried that we have done the absolute wrong thing and that she is now suffering because of our ignorance. Do you think that's the case?
And just to clarify we absolutely understand these beautiful birds are not people...they both came to us from completely different sources already named.
Thanks guys
If Leslie was presenting herself to Patrick then she was probably ready to mate some domestic ducks are mating at 4-5 months old. My Runners were.

Broody ducks can be hard to figure out at first and Muscovies given their desire to brood can look like they are sick when actually just broody.
So there are still eggs in her nest is that right? and she laid 2 soft shelled? that can happen with first time layers but I'd offer your layers some extra calcium in the form of oyster shell. They will use it as needed so don't put it in their feed.

Is she sitting on her nest now? if she is sitting on eggs make sure she comes out at least 1X a day to eat drink and poop and bathe some will on their own others you have to get them out I have done both. Her caruncles will get red again after she begins to lay again after she hatches and raises her brood.

As for Patrick watch him around your chickens[hens]some drakes are so hormonal they will try and mate with chickens and because they are not anatomically made to breed it can be a death sentence for a hen.

I would def get some poultry vitamins to give to Leslie they will also be good for ducklings when they hatch.

So hopefully all your seeing is a broody duck and she isn't sick.

Oh and when they are broody they will come out all puffed up and look like a sumo wrestler stomping around like they are ready for a fight, most flock members will stay way a way from a broody. If she hatches then you'll have to be more protective of her and duckling around the rest till they are around 3 weeks old drakes and chickens can injure or kill ducklings.
She has abandoned her nest completely. We have removed the eggs but do still have them. I haven't been able to just dispose of them. She wont even sleep in her old bed where she had them and always slept prior to laying. When we let her out in the morning she just strolls right out to the front yard where she sits by her pool and very occasionally (not very often at all) seems to kind of forage but I'm not convinced she is actually taking anything in. She does take herself back to her 'bedroom' at evening but as I said won't get in her bed. I am totally inclined to believe she is broody but I'm so scared about her weight loss. My partner thinks you are completely right too so I do feel a bit more confident now. Thank you

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